La Croix Review: Is it really healthy for you?

If you don’t know anything else about me, know that I love bubbles. Add a little bubbly to a drink and BAM! #gamechanger. I love finding alternatives to satisfy that bubbly craving that doesn’t carry sugar or alcohol content. And this one, oh, it is the best! I often have clients who are trying to ditch sugary sodas or juices and La Croix is my go-to recommendation. Hydration is key to nutritional success and La Croix offers another way to keep up with water intake sans boredom.

La Croix is La $&%!

I literally saw that on a shirt.

I resisted my strong urge to buy it (I have small children) because I love La Croix so much.  This product isn’t anything brand spanking new, but I am often surprised at how many people have been living a La Croix free life.

La Croix is a sparkling water beverage with a hint of flavor. It has zero calories, zero sugar, and zero sodium because its ingredients are literally carbonated water and a few natural flavorings extracted from essential oils of fruit. There are no hidden chemicals that make it “sugar-free”. It’s just good old-fashioned water. And that is just the way I like it — simple. You can view a sample nutrition label here.

But, is La Croix healthy for you?

Like all good things that gain popularity, scrutiny often follows. Are all those bubbles too good to be true? Seltzer water has fallen under criticism because of it’s potential to agitate the stomach and cause erosion to teeth.

A study conducted in 2002 actually showed that bubbly mineral waters can actually help to settle the belly when under distress.

Those pearly whites though might be impacted more by seltzer waters because of their potential erosive effects to teeth enamel. A more recent study confirmed the potential for these types of beverages to cause damage to enamel when teeth were soaked in the water due to the acidity created by the ingredient, carbonic acid.

In the study, they took extracted human teeth and soaked them in sparkling mineral waters for thirty minutes. They then assessed the damage to the tooth enamel after the teeth were removed. The outcomes showed similar damage to erosion as compared to another drink similar in acidity, orange juice.

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What does this really mean?

The possible health implications really boil down to the volume of La Croix being consumed. If you are drinking a case a day, it’s fair to say that reducing your consumption will have positive effects on your teeth. However, most of us are enjoying a mineral beverage as a break from the monotony of regular water.

Even more importantly, La Croix is replacing the consumption of beverages with a much greater health consequence such as sugary sodas, energy drinks, and coffee. It could be as simple as using a straw when bringing La Croix or rinsing with pure water after consuming the drink to help reduce the exposure to the tooth enamel.

There is no substitute for water

No water how you slice it, there’s still no real substitute for good, old-fashioned, pure H2O. Water is crucial in many of our body’s metabolic processes. It is critical in maintaining energy supply, maintaining cellular hydration, and is keenly important in weight loss efforts. As a baseline, a great goal is to consume a half ounce of water per day for each pound of body weight.

For a 200 pound person, a daily water goal is at least 100 ounces. I always encourage my clients to add an additional 8 ounces for every caffeinated drink they consume or for every hour of time they may sweat during training.

When I begin my work with clients, I usually find that they aren’t drinking nearly as much water as they think they are. A few tips to keep track of exactly how much water you are taking in is to use a gallon jug (128 ounces) as the source of your water for the day.  You can drink directly out of the jug or pour it into a glass or insulated mug throughout the day.

Another simple idea is grabbing your favorite insulated glass (just like mine) and grab a dry erase marker.  Determine how much the glass holds and then how many times you will need to refill that mug to achieve your daily water intake goal. First thing in the morning fill that cup up and use the dry erase marker to create a hash mark for each refill needed during the day. When you successfully empty one full glass, use your finger to erase one hash mark as you make your way to your water goal. Seeing that goal and crossing off the hash marks is motivating and provides immediate feedback on your success.

Sweet Summer Time

La Croix is the perfect drink of summer (well honestly, all darn year). I love a refreshing drink in the mid-afternoon that makes me feel like I am at the beach and worry-free. Even my kids love it and they would easily choose it over a juice box alternative. My favorite is a bit of fresh lime juice, my favorite Cherry Lime flavored La Croix, all poured over ice.

It is an awesome product for a perfect “Mocktail” by the pool or while at work. These awesome recipes make a sparkling water beverage way more exciting then you could ever expect. If you are looking to reduce your alcohol intake, La Croix can be a simple replacement. It still has a subtle flavor and a bubbly, effervescent feel.

It also makes a great mixer for the real thing too, keeping keep sugar and calories low.  You can mix it with your favorite tequila or vodka with a squeeze of fresh fruit and #boomshakalaka.  As part of increasing food awareness, teaching clients how to better understand the consequence of those liquid calories in alcohol is powerful.  It is so easy to unknowingly sabotage yourself with a high carbohydrate sugary beverage or beer.  Not to mention that the fat burning process is somewhat halted when we consume alcohol as the body works to metabolize the toxin (alcohol) out of the body.  By replacing a dense beer or sweet drink with an alternative like La Croix, you not only bring down caloric value but are also using water as a mixer that is likely to help reduce the impact of alcohol overall.

Flavor Options

La Croix offers 13 Flavor options including Passionfruit, Mango, Apricot, Pamplemousse (Grapefruit), Cran-Raspberry, Berry, Orange, Pure, Lime, Lemon, Coconut, Peach Pear, and Tangerine. They’ve also released their Lacroix Curate and NiCola lines with new awesome flavors (available at limited locations).

Their recent entry into Costco has increased their exposure and was a genius move for those obsessed like me. They offer 2 different case options, which each include 3 different flavors. The case price at Costco will beat any price at your local grocer.

Like all amazing things in life: chocolate, Netflix, sushi, and pancakes, moderation is key. Overall health boils down to consistency, nutrient dense foods, and finding balance in the things that actually make our body healthy and those things that satisfy our cravings and bring instant gratification. For most, La Croix is a bubbly beverage that when drunk in moderation is likely a healthy alternative.

What is your favorite La Croix flavor?  Share how you love your La Croix below!

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